Tonkin trucks back to big leagues to take Gibson's spot

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Remember a few months ago when everyone thought Kyle Gibson was more than ready for the Twins rotation?

Ten big league starts later and Gibson is back in Class AAA Rochester.

He was sent down Monday after getting knocked around by the Mets at Target Field, giving up four runs on 10 hits in a 6-1 loss.

So what's next for Gibson?

According to Seth Stohs of TwinsCentric.com, he could make another start or two for the Red Wings -- or, he could be shut down for the season to further recover from Tommy John surgery.

Right now, Gibson has tossed 150 innings between the Red Wings and the Twins. Shutting him down now might save his arm for a renewed campaign in 2014, when he can perhaps creep toward the 200-inning mark.

The wild card? Gibson's age. As Stohs explains: "Gibson will be 26 years old throughout the 2014 season. Certainly, that is not young for a player with just 10 big league starts. However, when you consider that he lost half of 2011 and most of 2012, and then still was working back early in 2013 because of the surgery, he's where he should be.

"It's probably fair to say that the big league debut season of Kyle Gibson has been disappointing, but hopefully people can see enough of the big picture not to give up on an arm as talented as Gibson's. That's as silly as giving up on Aaron Hicks because of his 2013 struggles. The truth is that most players come up from the minor leagues and experience some growing pains. The hope is that Gibson will return in 2014, fully healthy, and better off for his struggles."

Meanwhile, the Twins have called up right-hander Michael Tonkin from Rochester. He'll replace Gibson on the active roster, according to Fox Sports North.

Tonkin made his major league debut on July 11 at Tampa Bay, tossing 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief for the Twins. He was then sent back down after Caleb Thielbar returned from the bereavement list.

Since then, Tonkin has six saves in 12 appearances for the Red Wings, posting a 3.95 ERA.

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